January 11, 2018 10:40 AM

A Maryland hospital is being accused of “patient dumping” after a viral video showed security guards leaving a homeless patient outside in the cold on Tuesday wearing only a hospital gown and socks.

A bystander, Imamu Baraka, shared footage of the incident online, and seemed shocked when he saw what appeared to be a group of University of Maryland Medical Center security guards wheeling the woman to a sidewalk and returning to the hospital without her.

“So, y’all are just gonna leave this lady out here with no clothes on? That is not okay,” Baraka is heard saying to the officials in the clip. He later added: “They just left all of her stuff out here. This is disgusting that they would just leave her unattended on a bus stop half naked. It’s gotta be at least 40 degrees or colder.”

In a statement to PEOPLE, hospital officials said they are conducting a “thorough review” of the incident, noting that they “share the shock and disappointment” of those who have seen the video.


“This unfortunate event is not representative of our patient-centered mission,” the statement read. “While there are many circumstances of this patient’s case that we cannot address publicly, in the end we clearly failed to fulfill our mission with this patient, no matter the circumstances of her case or the quality of the clinical care we provided in the hospital.”

As he recorded, Baraka attempted to communicate with the patient to help, saying, “Ma’am are you okay? Are you unable to speak? Are you okay, ma’am? Do you need me to call the police? Won’t you come and sit down, ma’am. You don’t look well.”

He ended up calling the police and said in the video that medics took the patient in an ambulance back to the same hospital.

The practice is called “patient dumping,” according to CBS News, and usually affects patients who are uninsured or have other financial issues. For several years, hospitals have been accused of removing homeless patients from the facility and leaving them on the streets. In 2007, CBS’ 60 Minutes investigated the practice in Los Angeles.

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